Persona 4: The Ultimax Suplex Hold Seems Closer In Tone To Persona 3

By Kris . August 19, 2013 . 2:00pm

I waited two hours to play one match of the new Persona 4 Arena sequel during this weekend’s location test at Hey in Akihabara. These are just my uneducated impressions of what I saw and played during that time. For information about some of the new systems, see our previous piece on the game. Also, note that everything in the game that once said “P-1 Grand Prix” now says “P-1 Climax”.


As I was waiting in line to play, one of the first things that stood out to me about the new Persona 4 Arena was the visual tonal shift from the original Persona 4 Arena. There’s a much seedier feel to things, the yellows and reds from P4A’s palette replaced with a sickly blue-green. Certain backgrounds had green ooze scattered around. The UI looked as though it was smashed into a CRT, with the round’s time limit floating in a void behind what appeared to be cracked glass. The character portraits also sat atop cracks.


I never played Persona 4 Arena’s story mode (for fear of spoilers for Persona 4 and Persona 3, both of which I swear I will finish someday), but the overall tone of this new Persona 4 Arena seemed very different. It almost seemed closer to the general atmosphere of Persona 3 than Persona 4. I can’t help but wonder if the game’s story is going to take a grim tone, especially with the playable Shadows-type characters…


Even health bars seem to be a little bit less flamboyant than before. When a character was knocked into an awakening state, instead of their health bar turning orange, it simply remained yellow, but gained a faint orange glow around it. Maybe Awakening is being given a bit less attention this time around because Shadow characters don’t have access to it.


While I was waiting, I also saw a number of characters doing things that I didn’t remember them being able to do. Yosuke had a new aerial special that had him cut a massive V through the air (and his enemy) and a new super where he and his persona Jiraiya tossed a bunch of kunai at their opponent. Mitsuru could freeze the ground in front of her (and the opponent, if they were within range).


Meanwhile, Labrys could draw enemies toward her like she was Iron Tager from Blazblue in the air, hold them in place with a new slow projectile, and even had a new super that summoned gears up from the ground in front of her. I hardly recognized her with all of those new abilities!


Later this week, we’ll have impressions of Junpei in the new Persona 4 Arena.


Note: Photograph courtesy Inside Games.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Strain42

    Neat…that’s really about all I can say. This is all kinda neat information. It certainly does seem to lend more to the thoughts of this being a full sequel rather than just an enhancement, which is pretty nice.

  • Yan Zhao

    This is an update, not really a sequel. Hell I wish it was a sequel, that horrible cliffhanger in story mode begs for a proper conclusion.

    • Strain42

      Well even if it IS just an update, it could still get closure. They could simply add a third (possibly even 4th) chapter to everyone’s story modes and boom, instant closure.

    • D H

      It’s entirely possible for it to be both, kinda like Continuum Shift to Calamity Trigger, where it’s something of Street Fighter II to Super Street Fighter II in update terms, but with a new continued story mode to advance that as well.

    • Tre W

      Considering all the gameplay changes and the addition of the Shadow Characters? This is arguably more of a sequel than some of BB’s updates tried to pass themselves off as.

      Besides, I wouldn’t be surprised if the eventual console port does indeed have a new story mode. And with the P3 movie coming up, it only makes sense that they’re focusing a bit more on P3 this time around.

    • Zeik56

      I’m not sure we can say with any certainty one way or another whether it will have a new story mode, considering all we have is early loketest info for the arcade version. However, given the changes that have been made it seems pretty likely. Blazblue: Continuum Shift had a new story mode and it didn’t make any more changes to the core game than what this game is doing.

    • Sakurazaki

      It is a sequel.

      “Famitsu have followed up with a summary on the latest of what they report as the new Persona 4 Arena game…
      …The event is still going on and the new Persona 4 Arena game’s full title has yet to be revealed.”

      Based on how ArcSys has handled their games in the past (BB, for example) – the new moves, new characters, balances, menu and battle layout, and the new changes in many of the game’s mechanics – I can say with near-certainty that this will be a new game with a new story mode. It’s like the jump from CT to CS or CS to CP.

    • Arcana Wiz

      dont see why everyone says that is a update it changed a lot of things and the layout, a update never done this in a arcsys game and famitsu already stated that it is a sequel and that it will have a new history mode

  • Shane Guidaboni

    Awesome. I love the blues and greens of Persona 3 much more than the yellow of Persona 4.

    • Sakurazaki

      I like both, but when you mix the blue with some of the P4 stages, I find it kinda meh (and vice versa).

      I do like how they kept a certain menu color to fit with the environments mood for each of the two games.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    MC is coming back in Persona 5…

    • Dragard Kaos

      Makoto? Maybe Nyarly will take over his body and release Nix in the process.

      • Sardorim

        And Elizabeth gets his soul put back in.

      • Fitzkrieg

        I actually think that having Nyarlathotep masquerading as Makoto as a playable character would be awesome and very flavorful. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s pretended to be a main character.

    • Zeik56

      I’d reluctantly accept his return in Arena, but P5? Uggghhh.

      • Strain42

        I just want P5 to keep itself mostly separate from the other games. A cameo here or there is fine, but let us fall in love with a new cast of characters.

        • Zeik56

          Yes, I completely agree. I can’t really understand why so many people want it to just continue the story of P3/P4. People didn’t fall in love with P2 because it was an extension of P1. (Or even EP to IS for that matter.) P3 didn’t have to rely on P2. P4 didn’t have to rely on P3.

          P5 should be able to stand by itself and be great on its own merits.

          • Strain42

            I think it’s because (some) people are just so attached to the P4 cast now that they don’t even consider that they might like a new cast just as much if not more. If Atlus just kept bringing back the same characters, we wouldn’t even have the P4 cast.

            New characters are important for the series to grow. Besides, I totally wanna see some new Personas.

          • Sakurazaki

            I’m curious what kind of mythology they will stick to this time ’round. P3 stuck with the whole Greek/Roman and P4 was Japanese. It kind of made sense with the setting since the Japanese Persona’s fit well with the traditional/cultural settings of P4 while one can see the Greek/Roman theme as a sort of structured aspect, like a city (Rome/Athens).

          • Lynx

            I’m hoping pure mix myself, with something unique tying it together.

            Like say, the myth from what it’s based on being a throw back of who they are, what they are, etc on an individual basis.

          • Steven Higgins

            Nordic maybe? They already have Thor, Odin, Loki, and Sutr, among others.

          • LightZero

            The only thing that matters to me is Nyarlathotep being the main villain in P5. Every villain after him sucked IMO. Old characters making cameo appearances like the P1 cast did in P2 doesn’t bother me.

          • Zeik56

            While Nyarly was the best villain I don’t think that necessarily means they shouldn’t have a different villain. Just you know, make them good.

            But I’d probably be okay with him returning, as long as that make it work and don’t just put him in because fanservice.

          • Fitzkrieg

            It’s heavily implied that the antagonist in Persona 4 Arena’s story mode is Nyarlathotep. I am immensely looking forward to P4A2’s story mode because of it.

    • Herok♞

      Nope each Persona is self contained like each FF you will never see Zidane taking two numbered game, just like you will never see the protag of Persona starting in two games of different numbers(like Maya main heroine of P2 IS started in P2 EP not P3)

      • doubleO7

        I don’t think P3MC will be back either, but just because they haven’t done it yet, doesn’t mean they cant or wont in the future.
        But the games aren’t entirely self contained either, between the various version of P3/P4 they feature cameos and make numerous references to each other.

        • Herok♞

          Persona 2 has characters from 1 show up left and right, did you need to play 1 first before enjoying 2 no it was self continued well enough, heck it was self contained so well they only needed to put out the second half for it to be understandable.

          • doubleO7

            But… if they had to put out a second game to make it understandable, wouldn’t that right there mean its not standalone, since it requires more than one game to get the full experience?

          • Herok♞

            What I mean by that is you can play P2:EP by itself, and still understand what is going on, playing Innocent Sin first is recommended. You could almost compare them to the two different avatar series since if you watch Avatar before Korra you will get references and be more attached to some characters but Korra works by it self as well.

          • Sardorim

            To understand the shadows and a lot of the stuff mentioned in P4 fully you must have played P3 previously. You also wont understand the meaning of a certain Social Link in P3 unless you played P2 as well.

          • Herok♞

            Not really I can’t think of anything in Four shadow wise relates to P3, there is no dark hour or anything of that nature. Also the MMO social link of P3 just needed you to know that Tatsuya and Maya are from P2, at the point I played P3 I hadn’t played 2 at the time but still understood the link fine

          • Sardorim

            No you didn’t as you didn’t know what Maya, Tatsuya, and Innocent Sin represented. You need to play the earlier game to know as the games are connected. Especially P3 and P4.

          • Strain42

            They didn’t represent anything. They were just names. The Japanese version doesn’t even use Persona 2 references for that link. Nothing about 3 or 4 absolutely requires you to play the earlier titles.

      • Luke Blackwood

        You know that they aren’t quite self contained, right? MC’s do not star in two different games, but other characters do make cameos in other games. Yukiko makes a cameo in FeMC’s story mode of Persona 3. Chihiro appears in P4 when they visit P3’s school. The crazy history teacher also appears in this same event, giving your party the whole lesson about Izanagi, Izanami and etc.

        Although it would be kinda ridiculous for P3 MC to return in P5, it is not impossible.

        • Herok♞

          You know when I say self contained it means that you don’t have to play the other games to understand the overall, like with the small cameos you mentioned, if you didn’t the other game or recognize the character its not a big deal, like some people who played P3 might not even know who Chihiro is, her presence doesn’t change the plot in anyway, its just a small bit of fanservice. If she played a huge role story wise thats when it stops being self contained, like P4A thats not self contained since if you don’t have the background knowledge of P3 FES you are likely to be confused for the entirety of Elizabeth’s story.

          • Luke Blackwood

            Well, in that sense they are self contained. I thought that you meant they were completely apart from each other, since you mentioned FF games as an example.

          • Herok♞

            I couldn’t mean in the same way as FF, Persona 2 has party members who are characters from 1 in both games

        • Sardorim

          P3 MC was mentioned a few times in P4 so P3 and P4 were never self contained. Especially consider who Elizabeth is related to.

    • Brimfyre

      The only character that I would even want to return as a possible playable character in P5 is a grown up Nanako, and she can allude to what some of the characters from 4 ended up doing when they grew up.

  • If I’m not mistaken, Labry’s gear super is in Persona 4 Arena.

    • Byron Kerrison II

      Maybe they gave her new visuals or gave it a different mechanic…? It would be interesting if they did.

      • Yeah, I want them to improve all characters. It would be a shame if they only did it with a few.

        • Zeik56

          Well every character has definitely had changes made to them. Some just more drastic than others.

          At the very least, every character now has a new auto-combo.

          • I’ll rather have them eliminate auto-combo, though. I mean, at first it helped me quite a lot because I was new on these fighting games, but when people start spamming it online it gets annoying.

          • Zeik56

            If they start spamming that’s when you punish them, like any other move. If they don’t stop then you should have an easy win. (Yes, I know that’s easier with some characters than others.)

            Anyway, I could take it or leave it, but it’s clearly here to stay. Those aren’t the only changes either, just one of the universal ones.

  • Herok♞

    Play the story for Arena you will get no Persona 4 spoilers but you will learn the ending to 3 and FES if you don’t already know it, and I am taking this as a sign that Atlus will finish all the hanging plot threads from P3, 4 and Arena and finishing them up in this game instead of sending the characters to P5 which would irate me because each game is its own start, like with P1 and P2 duology the P1 characters showed up in 2 but you didn’t have to play 1 first to understand it, and then with P4 there was the field trip that linked P3 and P4 but didn’t force the two games together it was Arena that did that.

    • Arcana Wiz

      and in persona portable you could visit P4 school and encounter a middle school yukihiko.

      • mike dickson

        not gonna lie ifniarcnum but that surprise me in p3p i was like that cross over

      • Sardorim

        Only if you’re FeMU not Minato/Makoto.

        You also hear about Chie but don’t see her sadly.


        on the Minako route, yes. As Minato you can try to score woth the P4 teacher in the summer trip

    • Rentekabond

      What’re you talking about, there are a buttload of P4 spoilers in P4a. The beginning of almost every P4 Character’s story mode gives a summary of everything that happened in P4, as well as numerous references to plot points in P4.

      • Herok♞

        They never once stated that Blank was the murder or anything about the ending.

      • Strain42

        Technically they even had characters giving FALSE information in order to ensure no actual spoilers from P4 were given away. The only real spoilers to P4 that couldn’t be avoided were (obviously spoilers follow this, read at your own risk)

        Naoto being a girl, Teddie being a shadow, and that none of these characters died…

    • Soooo I really should get P4:Arena before this comes out it seems?

      • Herok♞

        pretty much, since this is a sequel the story of Arena will be expanded and you will be missing on a treat for the story, Labrys’ story is the only time I have ever cried during a game.

        • JakatoX

          When I played the game I don’t expect to get too emotional….Then Labrys’ Story happened!

          • Sardorim

            Labry’s story has nothing on the P3 cast and the BS they all had to deal with and accept after the answer that nothing could change it. Yukari especially suffered the most.

          • JakatoX

            Well of course P3 had a major and intense story to it but I’m talking in reference to how P4A is a “Fighting Game” thus making a lot of people expect the usual “Fighting Game Story Mode Connotations” from it and letting their guard down not at all expecting to feel too emotional about it….

            Labrys’ story is one of the more recent utmost examples that Fighting Games can have a legitimate story and make the players feel emotions.

  • Wait, is this game really a “sequel” to P4A? I thought it was more of an updated edition, a la Super SF4.

    • Zeik56

      It seems to be the equivalent of what Continuum Shift was to Blazblue. So not quite what some might consider a “full sequel”, since a lot of it is just tweaking existing mechanics and characters more than a completely new game, but more than simply a SSF4 update, since it had an updated story, new modes, and slightly more drastic core system changes than that.

      • As long as this ISN’T Persona 5!

        • Zeik56

          …Why would it be Persona 5?

          • I just don’t want to be trolled and gimped out of an RPG.

          • Sardorim

            Watch them decide to troll everyone and release it on the Wii U instead of the PS3 or PS4.

          • Strain42

            When did the internet change the definition of troll to “something that would piss me off?”

          • Zeik56

            I think you’ve been on the Internet too long if you think everyone is going to troll you for no apparent reason. They’re not going to do this instead of an RPG when RPGs are their bread and butter. RPGs are why this game and this series is popular at all.

    • Sardorim

      Yukari’s has to be awesome as she’s Neo Featherwoman Pink.

  • Surgeon of Death

    I wonder what Yukari and Jumpeis themes are?

  • Brandonmkii

    They should really just call it “Persona: Arena” at this point. Also Metis where?

    • Arizato

      Once again, like I said over a year ago here on Siliconera.


      Metis can’t be in any future titles due to her being a part of Aigis. She’s the reason Aigis didn’t die in the end of The Answer.

      • Hunts Rattata

        She’d just be a “What if” character, like Evil Ryu. He doesn’t exist anymore, but he’s still in SF4 (did he ever really exist?).

        But I’d rather not see Metis again because The Answer was kind of dumb.

        • Arizato

          I have a theory that the Abyss Of Time from The Answer might just come back in this sequel. So it might be possible to bring back some characters based on the P3 and P4 cast memories. That would also explain how most of the stages now have a red sky/background (Look at the Colosseum fights where you fight you party members in The Answer. The atmosphere is similar) and also the new Tartarus stage.

          I found The Answer incredibly satisfying in terms of story.

    • Zeik56

      Aigis has a palette of her. That’s all you’re gonna get.

    • Sardorim

      They will if we start getting P2 and P1 characters.

  • Sardorim

    The return on Minato/Makoto! For Yukari/Aigis/Elizabeth’s sake!

    • Servant BerserCAR

      I don’t want to play as a door.


        HEY! playing as giant gate would be awesome…

        • Sardorim

          No, it’s a temporary solution at most. P3 even tells you that there was another seal that had long since been removed/destroyed. Thus Minato/Makoto will, if he remains the seal, eventually be destroyed at a random date and no one will be prepared. Hence why Elizabeth is trying to find a way to save Minato/Makoto and a true solution so a seal, that will break, wont be needed.

          That and Minato/Makoto’s return has been teased in all the recent Persona games than there’s the movie as well. It logically would make no sense to do all that if they didn’t have a plan to get him off being the sealing.

          • Strain42

            Technically no, they’ve not once hinted at a return. They’ve merely hinted at freeing P3MC from the seal. Freeing does not necessarily mean revival.

  • The colors… The sickly blue green and the slime in backgrounds.. Hints of the Crawling Chaos himself?

    • Byas

      Man, I hope we can see P2’s grown up cast in this if we really fight the Crawling Chaos. Older Baofu and Ulala would make my day.

      • Zeik56

        Wouldn’t Baofu be nearing like 60 by now?

  • AverageGamers

    “the overall tone of this new Persona 4 Arena seemed very different. It almost seemed closer to the general atmosphere of Persona 3 than Persona 4”

    Perhaps because the Persona 3 movie is coming in November? ;)

  • NimbusStev

    That is one of the best compliments you can give this game. Although I liked Persona 4 better overall, I absolutely loved everything about P3’s mood and feeling. It’s something that often gets overlooked in standard reviews, but atmosphere plays a really important part in my views on a game. And Persona 3 did a fantastic job with that! It is pretty much the main reason I got into SMT in the first place.

    • Yeah, the SMT influence over Persona was lost after P3. I’ll always miss it in future Persona games, unless they bring it back. Persona 4 was closer to an Atlus take on a Tales game than something inherently Atlus.

      • Kelohmello

        Completely agree. I certainly still liked P4, but in the end it was a bit too bright and happy for me. P3’s mood was still more light-hearted than a standard SMT game while keeping the same darker atmosphere that makes Shin Megami Tensei what it is.

        • Richard N

          What light hearted? Hot springs and beach trips are the epitome of dark atmosphere!

    • Lynx

      Pretty much this. I LOVED the plot and SOME characters in 3, primary Liz and Aigis. I really did love the atmosphere in 3 although P4 had the characters I liked more. If only there was a way to combine both…

  • This is more or less the way it should be. Persona 4’s story should have ended where the RPG ended. There was nowhere else for those characters to go. No reason for them to keep getting themselves in trouble. P3, on the other hand, always had plenty of room to expand. I always thought P4A’s story was more of a sequel to 3 than 4, and that the “4” part was just there because that was the more recent (and popular) game.

    • s07195

      Or maybe because it had more characters showing up.

    • Zeik56

      I don’t think I really agree. I don’t think either story necessarily had any reason to continue, but given the right circumstances there was no reason they couldn’t. Both P3 and P4 could have easily ended with life going on as normal with nothing happening to warrant any more Persona-ing. But neither the P3 or P4 cast seem like the type who would ignore a problem if they could help solve it, which is exactly what happened.

      • I don’t know if I agree with that. By the time Persona 3 ended, SEES weren’t just a group of kids any more, they were soldiers. I mean, they have an anti-Shadow weapon living with them. And even before the game ended, Mitsuru was already more of a general than a “senpai”. Akihiko was like her lieutenant. Minato/Minako were the field tacticians. Fuuka was the scout.

        Persona 3 was always about rising to the occasion. About using your special talents to help protect the world, while uncovering this larger conspiracy. Meanwhile, Persona 4 was a very “small-time” story in comparison. It was essentially about kids playing detective while discovering love and friendship.

        Look at Persona 4 Arena’s story, too. All of the plot points that it picks up and runs with are from Persona 3. The Shadow-Ops, the looming threat of some malicious entity that only Mitsuru and her squad can face. Elizabeth trying to discover how to free Minato. Labrys, who’s another anti-Shadow tank. All of the major story points in P4A are from P3. Throughout the entire game, no matter which character’s route it was, I always felt like the cast of Persona 4 kind of didn’t belong.

        • Zeik56

          Even if P3’s story was on a larger scale, both of them wrapped up pretty neatly to the point that they could have left it there and we could have assumed that life went back to normal afterward. There’s was nothing about Shadow Ops in P3. If it wasn’t for Arena I can’t imagine anyone would assume that’s where the story would have gone after the end of that game.

          Basically, I feel like the only reason the P3 cast was so important was because they needed an excuse for them to leave Tatsumi Port Island and run into the P4 cast. P4’s story lead directly into the events of Arena, but they had to concoct a new story for the P3 cast to give them a reason to be involved at all. I don’t necessarily disagree that the P3 characters played a more central role in Arena, but not because P3’s story warranted it.

          • I just feel like P3 left more things unresolved than P4 did, and its story had a more lasting/traumatic effect on its characters.

            Like, you could imagine that Junpei and Yukari just wanted to put the whole traumatic experience behind them and move on with life, but what about Mitsuru, Akihiko and Aigis? Mitsuru inherited her father’s legacy. Akihiko was a fighter at heart. Aigis was an android. Fighting shadows was kind of all they had going for them.

            Kind of like Batman. Bruce Wayne’s whole purpose is to be Batman. Without Batman, Bruce has nothing, because he’s just so damaged and incapable of leading a normal life.

          • Zeik56

            Before Arena I had imagined Mitsuru simply took over her father’s company and became a (relatively) normal business president. Akihiko would have probably focused explicitly on boxing.

            Aigis is the only one that’s hard to picture in life beyond fighting shadows, since she’s a robot that was explicitly designed to fight them, but she probably could have been Mitsuru’s bodyguard or something. I’m sure Mitsuru would have found something for her to do anyway. Or maybe she would have discovered a hobby of her own that she enjoyed.

            I don’t agree that there was no life for them beyond fighting shadows. It probably would have taken time for them to adjust, but I didn’t see any of them as so far gone that they couldn’t have moved on if there were no shadows left.

          • Christopher Hughes

            Getting the P4 characters back in the fight was actually what I thought was really great about P4A’s story mode. At the end of P4 they’re all like “sweet, we overcame all our flaws and stopped the miasma of modern society from absorbing the town, mission accomplished!” But in P4A, they’re each individually confronted with the idea that “overcoming your shadow” is an ongoing process, and that saving humanity from itself is not a one-and-done deal because shadows have appeared in other places. The way that they also showed the P3 characters encounter their own shadows and made sure to remind us that Erebus is still out there, seemed to indicate to me that they were trying to “retcon” the P3 characters into the more clear-cut symbolism of P4. We’ll have to wait and see how they develop the “mysterious force” from the P4A ending to know for sure, but essentially I’m just trying to say that I’m not quite sure I buy into the thesis in the headline, partly for story logic reasons, partly for personal preference reasons.

            If you turn out to be right though, I’m confident it will still be a good game.

        • Christopher Hughes

          Maybe this is just a difference in taste, but I think the P4 characters have a lot more to contribute towards progressing whatever overarching story the Persona series decides to have. P3’s story feels bigger, but I kind of felt a lot of that was because it just piled on so many elements of the story. Evil science experiments, personas, sentient robots, the apocalypse, cults, not to mention all of the characters individual stories. I thought that P4 was pulling off a more solid show with fewer moving parts. It keeps things solidly focused on the main characters with their immediate goal being to overcome their own faults and overall being to solve the mystery. It keeps it’s supernatural elements mostly confined to the “TV world as metaphor for the collective unconscious” and never stacks another supernatural element on top of that metaphor. The main characters overcoming the elements of themselves that they fear and gaining a strong, individual identity that allows them to resist the effects of the TV world is a brilliant illustration of that.

          The ultimate plot of both games is revealed to be that modern society has drained people of the essential human drives to live and grow and the protagonists have to overcome avatars of the destruction that this will cause. Now, in P3, the MC is the only person who actually figures out how exactly to do that. Everyone else’s plan is to go punch it in the face and hope for the best. In P4, the whole party explicitly understands that the only way to overcome “the fog” is to essentially “give the best of yourself to others”, even though MC is the only one who understands that this is a broader, social truth, from being the nexus of the others’ social links.

          Like you said, at the end of P3, those people feel like a military unit. But to resolve the overall conflict that’s been presented, they don’t need a military revolution, they need a cultural revolution, and I think the P4 characters would make a better foundation for that story.

          That being said, I still really like Persona 3 (and actually a lot of the character moments in The Answer were REALLY good), I just think that P4 had a stronger thematic through-line, so I think it should be the base for the Persona “climax”. If, indeed, that is what we’re getting next.

          • I see where you’re coming from, and I do agree that Persona 4 had more going on thematically. That said, I don’t agree that P4 necessarily did a better job conveying the “overcoming own faults” part.

            See, the way I see it is that adversity builds character, and through repeatedly facing adversity, the cast of Persona 3 discovered more about themselves and what they wanted from life. When you have to live every single day knowing that the fate of the world rests in your hands, the things you do and connections you make define you. By the end of P3, I felt like the game had gradually built up enough of an individual story for each character and seen it through to a decent conclusion.

            Persona 4, on the other hand, tries to focus almost exclusively on self-realization and character relationships, and in some ways it doesn’t do it in a convincing manner, IMO. The whole “fight your shadow and then you’ll accept yourself!” thing doesn’t hold up very well on repeat playthroughs in my opinion. It feels kind of artificial and unconvincing, and really, it has to, because the game is already 60+ hours long. They couldn’t possibly have been any more gradual with the character arcs for fear of the game overstaying its welcome.

            The sad truth is that when you try to focus on character relationships, anything you do is never going to be good enough, because there’s nothing to distract people from seeing what isn’t there, as opposed to what is. Persona 4 might’ve been a little too ambitious for its own good. A little too character-driven, as opposed to Persona 3, which was equal parts character driven and equal parts story-driven.

            I guess the way I see it is that Persona 3’s world and characters fit together very nicely. Like the story and characters were conceived together, with each individual character having their own part to play in the origins of the story. Minato’s connection to Aigis, Mitsuru’s father’s legacy, Yukari and Junpei both coming from disturbed family backgrounds and being the first SEES recruits. I love how connected P3’s characters are to their world.

            But again, in Persona 4’s case, this isn’t so. The characters are just kind of there, running around playing detective, with the occasional senpai/sensei tomfoolery thrown in. And I can appreciate that, I really can. A slice-of-life Persona game was an interesting change of direction. Just… they should have let it remain at that. I never once got the impression that Persona 4’s cast was even remotely capable of understanding or facing the larger threat because they’re all… so sheltered. They aren’t very convincing in the role of saviour because their adventure was a very personal one.

          • Christopher Hughes

            I think I mostly responded to what you’re saying here in my next comment down. You didn’t think the “fight and overcome your dark side” thing was done well though? Harsh. I thought that was incredibly relatable and compelling.

            Seems like we’ll just have to agree to disagree, but I will say that my hoped for direction with the Persona series is for them to continue with the themes of 3 and 4 on a bigger scale. I’m picturing a story with a global social scale where everyone who has fought the shadows brings their own talents to the table to destroy Erebus permanently.

            Fun talk though! I haven’t got to really dig into the Persona games very often. I only have one friend who’s finished them really, and he tends to get hung up on the surface level mythology stuff.

          • Well, I don’t necessarily think Persona 3 is a better game than 4, but I do think 3 is better at hiding some of its flaws than 4 is.

            In Persona 3, since the plot and Social Links are both equally important, you tend to divide your attention between the two. Let’s say you’re in the middle of courting Mitsuru or Yukari. You know that you don’t have all year to do it. The world needs saving. For that reason, important moments are touched upon in the Social Link scenes and the rest left up to imagination. Basically, the clock is ticking, so you don’t have the luxury of a slow, comfortable relationship.

            In Persona 4, things feel much more laid back and easygoing, so you kind of want to see everything in the Social Links. You keep wanting to see more and more interaction, to be able to go on more dates, to be able to see more of the relationships develop gradually. And they couldn’t possibly do that because the game already had so much content as it is.

            That’s the downside of P4 being so much more inclined in the character-driven direction, rather than a balance between plot and character-driven.

            But yeah, interesting talk! Thanks for giving me a chance to discuss these things. There aren’t many people I get to discuss Persona with in such great depth either. :)

    • Exkaiser

      Frankly, I think they should never have included a story in P4A, but I suppose that’s a different argument altogether.

    • Richard N

      I have to agree with you there. After their game I didn’t really see them getting back into the fold and just move on with their lives, just because it didn’t feel like they had much more reason to keep on fighting. And then Arena came out and literally just dragged them into another whacky adventure.

      Honestly, the main reason I’m sure they even used these characters again was because of their sheer popularity.

  • ShadowDivz

    What’s a CRT

    • MellowMadman11

      I believe it stands for cathode ray tube, It’s the way they used to make old tv’s.

    • JakatoX

      Basically they are the old square TVs with the fat backs. They were also used as Arcade Game Cabinet Monitors back in the day too so it’s cool that a New Arcade Game is mimicking the old effects! XD

    • Zeik56

      This question makes me feel old.

      • BenderIsGreat

        Ditto. Do you think they know the difference between UHF and VHF channels?

  • Guest

    Mass Destruction – in Mayonaka Arena.mp3

    Awwwww yeaaaaaaaa!!!

    • miju

      YES! Except for Reach and Heartful they came as character themes. I don’t think they’ll use that for Yukari nor Junpei.

  • Chim_era

    I always had the feeling I liked playinf P4 better than P3, but P3 overall is the better game. I’m curious how this one will turn out.

  • Xerain

    So just imagine if the the sequel to Person 4 Arena is called Persona 3 Arena. That would be fun.

    • Sardorim

      It would hurt sales because there are a lot of idiots in the world that would assume it would be a prequel. Better keep it P4 or just Persona.

  • Detrimont

    i want Ginko (Lisa Silverman) to be in the game

    • XiaomuArisu

      Or her father Steven Se….I mean Steven Silverman

    • Strain42

      Not to be “that guy” but canonically speaking, she really wouldn’t work. Neither would Eikichi, unfortunately, who I love.

      • Detrimont

        people have already figured out that some of the silhouettes shown of the shadow operatives in Arena were those of the some of the characters from P1 and the P2 duology, also, in P3, if you watched the tv in the dorm on certain nights, it told you about past persona users, Lisa being one of them.(lisa also still has her persona on the EP side of things)

        • Strain42

          “people have already figured out that some of the silhouettes shown of
          the shadow operatives in Arena were those of the some of the characters
          from P1 and the P2 duology”

          You mean people have guessed that and wanted it to be true. It hasn’t been proven. Heck, the only one that people were positive about was the one with the backwards ballcap being Junpei, and even now we can’t be sure on that since the figure in the original Shadow Operatives pic doesn’t match the Junpei design we’ve now seen for this game (the hair isn’t sticking out)

          And I’m aware that the old characters still exist in P3 from the Who’s Who show, but it doesn’t mention them having their Persona.

          Granted I could be mistaken here, it’s been a while since I played, but isn’t the whole point of EP that the IS characters (Lisa, Eikichi, and Jun specifically) no longer have their Persona because the timeline got changed, and if they recover their Persona (and by extension their memories) than Nyar wins.

          • Detrimont

            the last part you mentioned, they can still get their personae, they just cant meet maya

          • Strain42

            Okay, fair enough, that’s true. But I guess my question from there is “Do they?” I don’t remember them ever having their Persona in EP (outside of the metal ones which…y’know…aren’t them) but as I said, it’s been a while since I played.

            There’s a big difference between they can and they do.

          • Detrimont

            well in IS, their persona were forcefully produced, like the antagonists of p3, leading to the belief that they would come about naturally over time.
            also, about the silhouettes, a lot of them look too much like past characters to be coincidence

      • Detrimont

        oh, and p3 carries on from the ending of EP, i think i should’ve mentioned that

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    Nice observations! Look forward to your impressions with Junpei!
    Funny, I’m in the same situation as you. I never finished P3 or 4 so I avoided the story mode for P4U

  • Tarlol


  • Leon_Tekashi

    Hmm…Considering what happened at the end of Persona 4 Arena, that would explain why this game will be more Persona 3 oriented.

  • Charles Parker

    I hope Marie eventually makes an appearance with Kaguya Hime as her persona. I know she wouldn’t need one if she showed up, but just to keep with the theme. That and she’s about the only Persona 4 character they could bring in at this point. That is unless they finally brought that idea of Dojima fighting with Nanako as his persona back to life.

    • ZekeFreek

      Are we 100% sure Marie’s existence is even canon?

      • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

        Of couse it’s canon. At least she fits. The whole amnesia thing was just a way to explain why Marie wasn’t in the original P4: She actually was but we don’t remember. Still, considering how Golden handled Marie if she appears in Arena it has to be after the last epilogue.

        • Zeik56

          All I hope is that those lame character redesigns are non-canon. If they can bring in Marie while pretending that never happened then okay.

          • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

            Lame redesigns? They were just wearing different clothes like always and decided to cut their hair. Narukami was the same. Only Kanji got a big change.

          • Zeik56

            Kanji’s definitely bugged me the most, but I didn’t think any of them looked very good in that picture.

        • ZekeFreek

          Just because it fits doesn’t mean it’s explicitly canon. I’ve never heard Atlus say either way.

      • Charles Parker

        I like to think so, considering in Golden’s new post game epilogue with Marie in it they reference the events of spring break which is referring to Arena’s events.

        • ZekeFreek

          That’s true. But I’m not going to be fully convinced until Arena references Golden, or unless Atlus says something officially. I wouldn’t mind if she was canon, but better safe than sorry.

  • ZekeFreek

    Was I the only one who didn’t particularly like P3’s color scheme? It looked so washed-out and dull to me. I didn’t think even I could like bright yellow before P4, so obviously it did something right. (Although the yellow is bit darker in P4A than it ever was in P4/P4G).

  • MrJechgo

    That’s not surprising, because P3 is darker than P4. I’m aware that P4 has dark moments, but not as much as P3. Considering that P4A’s story is dark to begin with, the next game is gonna be more fitting with an atmosphere and scheme similar to P3. Aigis, Akihiko and Mitsuru had the most serious and rather menacing story chapters as well, compared to the P4 characters who had rather light-hearted and comical chapters.
    Finally, considering that P4A actually linked P3 and P4 together solidly (BTW, no, just the Wild Card, the Velvet Room and various Personas aren’t enough to link both games, come on now…), that P3 is dark and P4 is light and that P4A was rather bright, it’s only normal that P-1 Climax is getting darker and darker. We might be dealing with a certain VERY dangerous antagonist here too.

  • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

    Still no info if this a sequel, update or DLC?

    • Zeik56

      There won’t be any info on that for awhile, because as of now it’s only confirmed as an update for Japanese arcades. We won’t get any info about consoles ports until well after it hits arcades.

      Most likely it will be a $40 disc release when it hits consoles though.

  • Jake_Indiman

    Sigh…so jealous of Kris that he got to play this….Persona 4 Arena is just awesome.

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